Faculty soccer Week 13, also referred to as Rivalry Week, is the very best week on the college football calendar as a result of nearly everybody has one thing to play for. Are you within the Playoff hunt? Nice, you’d higher win. Are you making an attempt to win your convention title? Superior, you’d higher win. Are you out of the hunt altogether, however enjoying in opposition to a staff you hate? Effectively, you then actually must win, as a result of it could be the one spotlight of your season.



Some Rivalry Weeks are spicier than others, however we obtained fortunate in 2021. Saturday was the very best school soccer day of the yr, for causes which have each the whole lot and nothing to do with the title races that may take up most of our consideration within the coming weeks. Right here’s a choice of groups who had nice performances—and a few who didn’t.

Faculty Soccer Week 13 Recap

Winner: Michigan

The Wolverines’ commanding 41–27 win over Ohio State was noteworthy in a variety of methods. It was by far the most important triumph for Jim Harbaugh in his seven seasons at Michigan, and it ended his winless run in opposition to the staff that has dominated Michigan for many years. It gave the Wolverines the Huge Ten East division crown for the primary time and put them a win away from the Faculty Soccer Playoff. It was additionally an exhibition in efficient offensive line play, as Michigan’s 5 huge males up entrance blew open holes in the Ohio State defense all afternoon. It was the right encapsulation of what Harbaugh has been making an attempt to do all alongside and a wonderful show of offensive soccer on the whole.

Loser: Wisconsin

The Badgers is not going to be enjoying Michigan within the Huge Ten Championship. Wisconsin misplaced 23–13 at Minnesota on Saturday, and that mixed with Iowa’s win over a tortured Nebraska on Friday handed the West division title to the Hawkeyes. Wisconsin had probably the greatest defenses within the sport this yr, however the staff by no means might determine play offense behind quarterback Graham Mertz. Consequently, they let the Gophers take Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the primary time since 2018.

Winner: Oklahoma State

The Pokes beat rival Oklahoma in Stillwater, 37–33, in one of many weirdest and most dramatic video games of the season. It was a get-over-the-hump sport for Mike Gundy, who (like most OSU coaches) has struggled in opposition to OU and had misplaced six in a row within the sequence. It additionally flew within the face of an concept pushed by sure media observers (undoubtedly not me; OK, sure, together with me) that even an elite Oklahoma State protection wouldn’t be sufficient in opposition to the Sooners. Regardless of the naysayers, Gundy and his staff pulled it off.

Winner: Bryce Younger

Younger, the redshirt freshman Alabama quarterback, delivered the comeback effort of his life in a 24–22, quadruple-overtime win at Auburn on Saturday. The Tide trailed their Iron Bowl rivals 10–0 within the fourth quarter and 10–3 when Younger took the ball at his personal three-yard line with a minute and a half left to play. Younger coolly led a 97-yard landing drive to tie the sport, after which he created a few key third- and fourth-down conversions earlier than dropping in a dime of a 28-yard ball to ​​Ja’Corey Brooks and profitable the sport within the following possessions. Younger is the clear Heisman frontrunner, and the Tide are alive heading into an SEC Championship assembly with Georgia.

Loser: Bryan Harsin

Harsin, Auburn’s head coach (who may or may not be vaccinated because the vaccine deadline approaches), had a tough conclusion to the Iron Bowl. His operating again, Tank Bigsby, preserved essential seconds for the Bama comeback by going out of bounds on a run within the last minute. That’s primarily Bigsby’s fault, nevertheless it’s additionally one thing his teaching employees ought to’ve made completely positive he didn’t do. Harsin additionally handed on a two-point conversion try to win the sport in time beyond regulation, though his quarterback, TJ Finley, seemed to be badly hobbled and in no form to increase the sport a lot additional.

Harsin completed the season 6–6, and whereas I don’t count on him to lose his job over his vaccination standing, I do count on him to lose it inside two years due to an absence of recruiting success, forthcoming turnover inside Auburn’s administration, and Auburn’s willingness to spend big money to rent (and hearth) coaches.

Winner: Seth Littrell

Littrell, the pinnacle coach at North Texas since 2016, seemed to be nearly as good as fired a month in the past. The Imply Inexperienced began the yr 1–6, and that got here on the heels of a mixed 8–14 document over the earlier two seasons. However Littrell bounced again to win 4 video games in a row in opposition to among the worst groups in Convention USA—nothing too spectacular, however higher than dropping. Issues actually escalated when UNT performed unbeaten UTSA on Saturday and made roadkill out of the Roadrunners with 45–23 victory. I’m solely speculating right here, however attending to bowl eligibility by beating one of many higher groups within the nation ought to assist Littrell hold his job.

Winner: Notre Dame

The Irish would’ve been greater winners if Alabama had misplaced to Auburn and eliminated itself from Playoff rivalry. Though that didn’t pan out, Notre Dame handily defeated Stanford 45–14 on the highway. Notre Dame was sixth within the choice committee’s rankings final week and could have a official Playoff probability heading into convention championship weekend. The Irish, in fact, might be idle, however they’ll get in in the event that they get an affordable quantity of assist from some groups round them. When the rankings emerge on Tuesday, we’ll get a greater concept of how a lot of an help they’ll want, nevertheless it’d be useful for the Irish if Baylor beat Oklahoma State within the Huge 12 Championship and Georgia prevented an upset in opposition to Alabama within the SEC.

Loser: Groups Whose Rivals Storm Their House Fields

The Cavaliers misplaced to Commonwealth Cup rival Virginia Tech by a rating of 29–24. UVA is all the time the little brother on this rivalry, however this yr’s loss was further merciless. The Hoos had the ball deep in Tech territory with an opportunity to take a last-minute lead, however they misplaced yardage on a misguided throwback to an offensive deal with after which obtained stopped on a fourth down to finish the competition. The evening ended with Virginia Tech followers storming the sphere at UVA’s Scott Stadium.

Washington met an analogous destiny on Friday evening after falling to Washington State within the Apple Cup. A superb rule of thumb in Rivalry Week? Hold your opponent’s followers off your grass.

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